Friday, February 08, 2008

Spin, spin

I've heard the Mayor's lawyers spin that the documents in question have no bearing on the settlement. That they are personal information that the public has no right to see. Like, I've heard the comparison made, mental health records. But this editorial from The Detroit News spells it out:

To keep the SkyTel text messages from becoming public, the documents released Thursday reveal, Kilpatrick and Beatty signed as "private individuals" a confidentiality agreement with Stefani.

But Kilpatrick and Beatty were not being sued as private citizens. They were brought to court in their role as public officials. And the lawsuit was settled with taxpayer money, not personal funds.

Taxpayers have a right to know what they paid for, and why. That can only happen if all the documents are made public. The appeals court should swiftly reject Kilpatrick's plea to deny Detroit residents what rightfully belongs to them.

The police officers were fired because their investigation lead them to the affair. The Mayor (and his lover) denied they were fired, and denied the affair- the issues are tied together. Sex between consented adults "is" usually a private issue, except when the two use their power and position to manipulate their wrongdoing. The city shouldn't have to pay to keep the Mayor's dirty laundry secret.